'Religion important to teens' identity during high school'

Study shows that although lives of adolescents can be turbulent, religion is one aspect of their lives that remains consistent, regardless of ethnic background.

July 7, 2011 13:30
Teacher in class (illustrative)

teacher in class 311. (photo credit: Mike Burley/Chicago Tribune/MCT 311)


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High school years can be described as anything but monotonous. Puberty is a hectic period filled with times of self-discovery and change, and as parents will often tell, it's a time when young adults start having a mind of their own about everything. Yet a recent study by researchers at UCLA shows that one surprising aspect of young adults' lives actually stays constant - religion .

Andrew J. Fuligni, a UCLA professor of psychiatry, and colleagues found that teens retain their religious identity even if they visit their respective place of worship less.

The researchers speculated that teens are busier, leaving less time to actually frequent places of worship, but they still cling to religion. It is only in later years, they explain, that people reexamine their belief system.

"The results were not a complete surprise, said Fuligni. "Despite all the turmoil of those years, kids still have a routine and consistency to their day."

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